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MEAT THE RESISTANCE: Most meat-eaters know Veganism is ethical and good for the environment but remain indifferent


The study shows most people already agree with the ethics of Veganism and are aware of the benefits of vegan diets to the environment, but are unwilling to change their behavior.

VENESSA CHALMERS: ‘Most meat eaters admit Veganism is ethical and good for the environment, a survey has revealed. But University of Bath experts found lovers of bacon, pork and steak also fear a plant-based diet would taste bland. Results of the poll of 1,000 meat-loving Britons showed 70 per cent thought a vegan diet was sustainable and ethical. The study, which comes while many will be attempting ‘Veganuary’, also revealed half of Brits believed it was healthy. However, they are clearly put off by a diet without animal produce, with half rating the food as tasteless.

Although veganism appears to be rising in popularity, the majority of those surveyed found the way of life is too expensive and inconvenient. Lead researcher Chris Bryant said: ‘This study shows most people already agree with the ethics of veganism and are aware of the benefits of vegan diets to the environment. ‘That many people agree with the principles of veganism is one thing, but in terms of changing behaviours we need to acknowledge that for many it has been seen as too expensive, inconvenient and a sacrifice in terms of taste.’

The study comes during ‘Veganuary’, a campaign which encourages people to adopt the now trendy vegan lifestyle for the month of January. According to the website, Veganuary has inspired more than half a million people to give up animal-based produce across the globe since 2015. Around one per cent of the British population were vegan in 2019, compared with 0.25 per cent in 2014, figures suggest. Reasons for going vegan include for animal welfare and reducing the impact of agriculture and food production on the planet.

Going vegan is the single biggest way to lower environmental impact on the planet, according to Oxford scientists behind a major study in 2018. Livestock is responsible for a huge amount of global greenhouse gas emissions (14.5 per cent) and large amounts of land are deforested to grow food for the animals… Findings published in the journal Sustainability show that 73 per cent of meat eaters surveyed considered veganism to be ethical and 70 per cent said it was good for the environment.

Half (50 per cent) considered it healthy, 60 per cent thought veganism was socially acceptable while 41 per cent thought it was nutritious. But less than a quarter of respondents rated plant-based foods as tasty (24.5 per cent), affordable (22.5 per cent) or convenient (10.4 per cent). Attitudes from respondents towards vegetarianism – which still allows dairy produce like cheese – were significantly more positive on almost all counts.

Mr Bryant said: ‘Interestingly, in the time since this study was conducted, these things have all changed substantially. Supermarkets, restaurants, and even fast food outlets have developed numerous high quality and affordable vegan options. ‘Having direct replacements for the foods people know and like makes it easier for everybody to consume fewer animal products. ‘If we are to reduce animal product consumption in the UK and around the world, the development of high quality affordable alternatives to animal products is key’.’ SOURCE…